The Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue (known historically as SEBEV) is available 24 hours a day to search for vulnerable missing persons and this is the organisations primary role.
Every year many people go missing in Berkshire, some of these are regarded as High Risk and Vulnerable such as young children, dementia sufferers or those who are suicidal.
Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue provides over 50 highly trained searchers who are on call 24hr a day and are called out by Thames Valley Police to help search and locate missing people and return them to their families. The team is made up entirely of volunteers who spend a huge amount of their time on specialist training. The team responds to callouts in Berkshire and also assists similar teams in surrounding counties. The service is provided completely free of charge and is funded through charitable donations from the public and local businesses.
The team provides searchers and search management capabilities as well as all the equipment needed to be fully self sufficient in their role such as Control Vehicles, Mapping, GPS, Communications etc
Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue is a member team of the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR) who are responsible for coordinating Lowland Search teams as well as setting minimum standards for the various roles within a team. We were the first in the UK to develop Lowland Search techniques training much of which is still in use to this day.
Within Berkshire Lowland Search & Rescue there are a variety of roles, all of which are certified to a national standard. These roles are:-
This is entry level for operational work for all ALSAR teams. The 8 week training programme consists of subjects such as Search Techniques, Health & Safety, First Aid, Communications, Navigation, Missing Person Behaviour and Scenes of Crime.
Many of the team are trained as Bank Searchers which enables them to search alongside watercourses which can be a high risk activity of not appropriately trained and equipped.
The team provides some equipment such as team branded clothing and a high grade outdoors jacket but apart from that team members are expected to provided their own outdoor equipment.
Search Team Leader
The Team Leader works with a group of Search Technicians to carry out the Search Plan.
They are trained in Sub sectoring and Prioritisation, Leadership & Welfare, Advanced Search Skills and Incident Management.
Search Controller & Manager
Search Controllers and Manager develop the search plan, working with the Police service to deploy search teams.
They usually work from the teams control vehicle or from a Police Station and their role is to decide what search resources are to be sent to search particular areas. The training for Search Managers is extensive and deals with search theory, communications, planning, mapping, missing person behaviour, liaison and many other skills.